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Tactics of Georgia Tech Coach Under Fire

October 11, 2000|Times Wire Services

The mother of a former Georgia Tech football player is threatening to pursue criminal charges against Yellowjacket Coach George O'Leary after her son was injured during punishment for missing a block.

Dustin Vaitekunas, a 6-foot-7, 320-pound sophomore who was a backup offensive lineman, was called to the front of the team during practice Sept. 25 and told to stand alone against four defensive lineman coming at full speed. O'Leary said the players weren't supposed to hit Vaitekunas, only give him an idea of how a quarterback feels when blockers miss their assignments.

But Vaitekunas was pummeled by at least two of his teammates,

Physicians and trainers had to attend to Vaitekunas for 15 minutes. He has since left the team and returned home.

Vaitekunas' mother, Wanda Charpring, says she spoke with Capt. James Thomas of the Georgia Tech police department about filing charges. Thomas could not be reached for comment. O'Leary said he has tried to contact Vaitekunas without success.

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Officials at Georgia say damage at Sanford Stadium resulting from the celebration after the Bulldogs' 21-10 victory against Tennessee is expected to be between $70,000-$75,000. The school had to order two new goal posts at a cost of about $12,000, and fans ripped out seats, vandalized alarm systems, destroyed wheelchair ramps and damaged hedges.

Kristine Yu of Roswell, Ga., who suffered head injuries when she was trampled by the fans when one of the goal posts began to fall Saturday night, was released Tuesday from St. Mary's Hospital.

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Oregon State defensive tackle Eric Manning, ejected from Saturday's loss at Washington for punching a Huskies player in the groin, won't be suspended for the first half of this weekend's game against Stanford. Because Manning was tossed for a personal foul, not fighting, there would be no suspension. . . . Minnesota running back Tellis Redmon was arrested for driving without a valid license and his status for Saturday's game against Ohio State is in doubt. Redmon is scheduled to appear in court on Friday, the day the Golden Gophers leave for the Columbus, Ohio. His lawyer is trying to reschedule the court appearance. . . . Purdue Coach Joe Tiller says kicker Travis Dorsch won't be suspended for making an obscene gesture toward Boilermaker fans after his game-winning field goal against Michigan. Minutes earlier he had been booed for missing a field goal. Dorsch issued a statement apologizing for his actions.

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